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:: Strange wear on 1 tire. Volvo s40 '00


My driver side rear tire has very odd tire wear. I am curious how this happened? I have checked all my lug nuts, they are tight.

Here are a few pictures:

What you have is irregular wear which is cause by misalignment and aggravated by insufficient inflation pressure ans insufficient rotation practices.

Since this is on one side I would tend to think the problem is camber with a combination of toe - unless, you have some unusual driving habits or the tires just got rotated and the problem is in the rear.

First step - get an alignment.

I had a set of these tires on my Accord and they wore like crap. I had all sorts of noise and cupping (as seen in your pictures). I bought a set of Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires and (35,000 miles later) have had no more wear issues. I suspect that your suspension is also out of whack so I would have your alignment checked.

You have a bad strut, which is causing your tire to cup. Likely that you need all 4 replaced, too. Check this out before buying new tire(s), and as mentioned above, have a 4W alignment done after the struts are replaced. You should be all set.

Tires are getting kind of old. If they have never been rotated, you could have normal wear. It wouldn’t hurt to have an alignment done. Back in the days of bias ply tires, most of them would show this kind of wear on the non-drive wheels. Some sooner than others and some not at all. The voice of experience mentioned that there are better tires out there and I believe him.

Thanks to all for your replies. I will take it in for alignment and check the struts. Thanks bloody for the tire recommendation.

OMG!!! You really have to be careful about the advice some people give in this forum!
Have all the tires balanced AND rotate the tires. THEN take your heavy foot off the peddle. I’m just being honest. I have worked on Government fleet cars for years, and this is how I catch operators speeding in Governement cars (One of the indicators). The defect is called “Cupping,” and is caused from overinflation as the tire heats up and creates gasses from the chemicals in the tires. At a stand-still the tire pressure will mostly always be right, but it will differ when the tire heats up from speeding that exceeds the rating of the tire.
If you rotate and balance all the tires and you still have the problem…even after you honestly evaluate your driving habits then go to the library and take few minutes to do your own study on tire codes. Tire codes are printed on the tire, usually in smaller print then the tire pressure numbers. This is a Federal mandate: they must be printed on the tire. Anyway, you’ll have to make an educated guess (After study) on what speed rating is best for your driving habits and local road conditions. Tire shops usually wont tell you this kind of information because they want to give you the cheapest price - when all they are really doing is giving you a standard price for a less efficient tire. When all else fails look into Michelin tires. There is a reason why Government fleet cars use either Michelin or Goodyear (Next time you see a police car look at the brand of tire).
Sorry about the criticism of your (Possible) driving habits, but you want an honest answer, right?

Hey Norm, thanks for the advice. Not sure about speeding, but I do drive 6+ hours on the interstate each week (74 mph avg.)…other wise im in stop and go traffic, 45 to 55 mph, city. Ive had the tires for about a year. I will try a rotate and balance. Ill have them check the struts too, my front struts had to be replaced about 6 months ago so it would not surprise me (i trust my service shop). Is there anyway to check the strut myself?

Out of curiosity, how is cupping an indicator of speeding?

Out of curiosity, how is cupping an indicator of speeding?

It isn’t, per se. But high speed driving with faulty shocks, struts and or alignment will exacerbate the problem.